- Title – There’s Something About You
- Author – Yashodhara Lal
- Publisher – HarperCollins Publishers
- Genre – Fiction
- Pages – 255
- Price – INR 175
- ISBN – 978-93-5177-199-9
Synopsis – This is not your typical boy-meets-girl story. Okay, they do meet, but there are some complications.
Trish is twenty-eight. She’s unemployed, overweight, single and snarky. She knows all that. And if one more person – just one more person – tries to fix her, she might explode. Sahil is thirty-five. He has superpowers. Well, kind of. He seems to think so, anyway. He’s also hot (okay, in a geeky kind of way, but still). And he plays the guitar, helps the underprivileged and talks about his feelings. Aren’t guys like that supposed to exist only in fantasies?
When Trish and Sahil meet, magic happens. Real magic, you know, like fireworks, electricity, that sort of thing. But here’s the problem. Trish doesn’t want anyone in her life. She has enough to deal with – dependent parents, flaky neighbors, bitchy editors, the works. And yet, Sahil is determined to be in her life.
Review – The book has an interesting cover with a girl and a boy overlooking the sea. The way the sea holds the story together and introduces the reader to the characters in the book is pretty accurately presented by the cover. I quite like the portrayal of the boy standing casually in the background where the protagonist (Trish) doesn’t really see him though he is around. The title captures the essence of the plot well. The fuchsia ink used for the title echoes the fact that the book is a Chic-lit.
The book revolves around the life, struggles and the battle of the protagonist, Trish (Trishna) with life, obesity, people at her workplace, Alzheimer’s disease and even death. The beauty of the plot lies in the true to life portrayal of Trish who is an ordinary girl with many imperfections, facing them all extraordinarily with her grit and sarcasm in a commendable way.
There is not a single dull moment in the book despite the fact the initial one-third of the plot pictures the mundane life Trish leads. She goes about facing hardships with pride. Her most striking quality, that comes across even as she plays agony aunt, is having her heart at the right place.
I wish to congratulate Yashodhara Lal on bringing forth the protagonist as an exemplary character who inspires even through failures and frustrations emerging as a clever, quick-witted lass who knows what she’s doing.
“There’s so much you know that you just don’t know you know.”
The book has a rich language, lucid narration and humor interlaced with sarcasm in just the right proportions. I loved the way, towards the end of the book the author has gently added that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit to acknowledge the fact, sarcasm can’t be used in every life situation.
While the author has taken care to limit the number of characters in the book, I felt Trish’s persona overshadowed the others. Sahil’s character failed to evolve to its full potential. While he is shown to bear the maturity of a 35-year-old, he fails to demonstrate the same in his brief interactions with Trish’s family. I also felt that Sahil’s powers weren’t given enough room to help in the final third of the book (I am avoiding sharing spoilers by limiting myself to not quote any examples from the climax). Having said that, I wish to congratulate the author on a sensitive portrayal of the many characters in shades of grey.
The book is in no way a romantic read as the title and the cover of the book seem to suggest. Though the protagonist has a love interest but the rushed way the book culminates to its end, left me feeling longing for a more detailed climax. The elaborate descriptions in the start of the book had set a benchmark which the climax fails to rise upto. While the author deserves due credit for spinning an interesting suspense and a thriller feel in the final third of the book, resolving it all by simple divine intervention somehow made it rushed and lackluster for me.
“Guilt and loss. Loss and guilt. Why did that combination feel so familiar”
The book successfully highlights many grave issues our society is succumbing under, trying to highlight the need for change in the thinking process. Trish’s sarcastic replies as Amy work wonders in that role. However, the book fails to make an impact by not suggesting any concrete solutions to any of the problems. The plot is intriguing in the start but falls flat towards the end, lacking fresh ideas. Sahil’s powers reminded me (faintly) of Edward in the Twilight series.
Overall, the book makes for a breezy read that’s unputdownable. I recommend this book for people who enjoy a light, breezy read, are fond of Chic-Lit and are looking for an impeccable narrative seasoned well with sarcasm.
About the Author – Yashodhara Lal’s USP is in taking the ordinary and making it hilarious. She graduated from IIM-Bangalore in 2002 and has over 12 years of experience in the Marketing Domain across two large corporations in FMCG and media.
She lives in Gurgaon with her husband Vijay, and the three small children. This is her third book after ‘Just Married, Please Excuse’ and ‘Sorting Out Sid’.
Rating – 3/5